Sunday, April 28, 2013

Scotia Bank Half-Marathon Race Report!

"The goal you set must be challenging. At the same time, it should be realistic and attainable, not impossible to reach. It should be challenging enough to make you stretch, but not so far that you break."
Rick Hansen

We're off! :)

The things I could control, I did, the things I could not, well, they couldn't have gone any better. The weather was amazing, a sunny 65­F with a nice light breeze, just perfect. I was lucky enough to not be injured through this whole training cycle and on race day! The course was relatively flat and we ran next to the Olympic bassin, on trails, and on the F1 circuit...very cool. Only little blip is that my Garmin died on me, but luckily I wasn't alone. 

The most wonderful part of this whole race was being with my daughter. Just having her by my side was a huge boost. 
The first 10km truly flew by and we crossed the 10k mat in 1h01m53s, practically a 10k PR! It continued to go smoothly for another 3km, but by 14k, I was starting to find it more difficult to maintain my pace. I noticed that km 15 and 16 were my two slowest. As we neared km 17, I asked my  daughter how long we'd been going: Jess, "1h44m" - Me, "I don't think I'll make it" - Jess, "We'll make it mom, let's go" as she took my hand. When we crossed the 17K mark, she said, "We've got this mom, even if we go 7min/km we've got this." This was exactly what I needed to hear, and so I just took off again. All I kept thinking was, "It's all mental now, until the end, it's all mental." At this point, I realized that my daughter wasn't next to me. I knew that her knees were hurting her and that this was causing her grief, but she had made me promise to go for it if she had to slow down. She wanted this for me as much as I wanted it for myself and I knew I couldn't give in now. 

I didn't have my Garmin, so I didn't know how I was doing, but I knew I was pushing it as much as I could at this point. When I crossed the finish line, I knew I had done it, but I didn't know by how much. I waited for my daughter, who arrived a few minutes after me. She was under the 2:15 mark and she was so excited for me, even though she was hyperventilating a bit! 
My official time is 2h12m37s!!! A 5 minute 20 second PR!! 
I am so proud of my daughter for running her first half-marathon with me and for being there when I truly needed her. I love you so much Jess! Myself, I'm really proud of the fact that I followed through. I did the intensive training and achieved my goal...and because of my training, I have hardly any post-race pain, which is pretty cool!
Congrats to our whole group and thanks to my brother for being the official photographer!!
I love you all :)

Next up is a 9km trail race in June with Uber H! Then, at the end of June begins marathon training for Philly, which is in November. We will be celebrating my Super SIL's 50th birthday (she's second from the right on the photo). Another exciting event!

Thanks for your encouragement everyone!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Full on taper!

"Ability is what you are capable of doing.
Motivation determines what you do.
Attitude determines how well you do it."
Lou Holtz

Interestingly, my taper started last Sunday with a 24K long run...?! It was at an easy running pace, but still, it didn't seem like much of a taper. I did it and I was fine! It helped that Uber H joined me for the first 5K and then at the 10K mark, my brother P and my niece joined me for 10K. It was nice to have company as I've done most of my long runs alone.

The rest of the week was a little smoother, although Wednesday included some intervals. Today was a 12K long run with 10 minutes at race pace. Again I had company, as Uber H joined me and it went well. 

The rest of the week is relatively relaxed, although Wednesday includes five minutes at 5K pace and Thursday, which is only 20 minutes, includes 6 - 8 x 100 meter strides. Friday rest, Saturday 20 - 30 minute "jog" to loosen up and Sunday is the big day!

I've got the ability to run a half-marathon. My training program included nine long runs of 20K to 28K and I've officially run at least six. So I know I can do it.

I've definitely got the motivation and I've been lucky enough to remain quite motivated throughout my 23-week training program. Before I started this program, I was a bit worried that it would be too much, but I also felt that it was time to believe in my strength. Well, I did it, I completed this whole training cycle injury-free (so far) and I learned to trust my body. So I want to do well. 

All that's left is to make sure I have the right Attitude on race day. I want to push harder than I've ever pushed before in a race...I will run for all the Boston runners who were unable to finish their race, for the families who lost loved ones and for the injured. I tend to give in to my fears near the 18k mark, but this time, I want to find my inner STRONG and push it to the finish! I can do this!

On a totally different topic...I finally figured out how to get rid of calluses on my feet! I was worried that if I removed the calluses, I would then get blisters again. However, the calluses had gotten so thick that I was feeling pain on the outsides of my big toes. I figured it was best to try and do something about it. I found a tool that is like a wooden spatula with sand-paper on both sides (rough and smooth-ish). I soak my feet for about 10 minutes, then I rub the rough side on my callus, followed by the smoother side, and then I put foot cream on the callus followed by socks for the night to let my skin absorb the cream. It works really well and although I still have calluses (considering how thick they were) they are smaller. So, I am not worried about getting blisters, but I have no more pain on long runs. I know many of you probably already knew this, but I never read about it anywhere and I was really wondering if it was a good idea to do was :)

Time for bed! It's harder to get to bed at a reasonable time as I'm less tired...taper madness has set in somewhat. I keep worrying that maybe my lungs are not doing so well and should I or shouldn't I take prednisone...and maybe it's a mild cold...or maybe it's my candida that's back in my throat...and I'm eating too much for the amount of exercise I'm doing...and am I resting enough...etc. It's not too bad though...I know these issues are mostly in my head! 


Friday, April 12, 2013

Yes! Let me catch you up!

"He who has a why to live can bear almost any how." Friedrich Nietzsche

Here I am only two weeks away from my goal's hard to believe that over the last 21 weeks I have missed only two long runs (which were replaced by shorter runs but not missed completely). I've attended yoga usually once a week and as soon as I joined the gym at the end of December I added a weekly spin class and a strength workout (again I was lucky enough to miss only a handful of these sessions). You have no idea how amazed I am! Only a year ago, I was afraid that this intensive program would be too much for me. But, at this point, I can say that I did it! The last two long runs included 8K and 10K at race pace...and I nailed them! 

I don't know what will happen on race day...I mean it's snowing like crazy outside again today and more is expected tomorrow! Spring! What's that?! So, who knows what the weather will be like and how I'll feel on race day. But, a little bloom of confidence has been growing within me over the last two weeks and it's made me realize that until very recently I didn't really believe I could reach my goal of running a sub-2:15 half. Somehow, that little bloom is changing my perceptions and I have started to believe that I can do this! OMG it terrifies me to say that...but if I'm being honest, well the truth is, I feel strong, I feel ready and I know I can do this. I have to not be afraid to hurt a little...I have to trust my training and my body! 

This Sunday is my last real long run - 24km (15 miles)...rain, snow or shine, I'll get it done and then it's full on taper time! Of course, I hope that all goes well over the next two weeks and that I feel great on race day...but we all know that we never know. No matter what, I am excited about starting marathon training in July and seeing where it all takes me in Philadelphia!

An exciting thing that occurred last week is that I received my copies of this book in the mail :)
I am so proud to be part of this great book for first time marathoners!
Written by: Melinda Hinson Neely and available on and Barnes and Noble.

I feel so lucky to have had this opportunity to encourage others struggling with asthma.

I hope we all have good long runs this weekend!
Cheers everyone! 

Monday, April 1, 2013

Back on track...and a marathon in my future!

"You have to forget your last marathon before you try another. Your mind can't know what's coming."

Frank Shorter

I don't think I'll ever forget my first I am at km 38!
But I must have forgotten certain parts, because...

Anne is officially registered for the Philadelphia marathon!

Okay, back to the upcoming half-marathon. After last week's post...I got a comment that spoke to me. Thanks Marv.
Blogger Marv said...
What a week ! hope this one is better. When I see a crowd of participants lined up to start an event, I often wonder what all they had to go through to get there.
So true...
This week was a good one...I rested like it was my job, I got all my runs in and Sunday's long run, which included 8km at race pace, went really well! Except for a side pain... 
Yeah, as I mentioned last week, I saw a nutritionist, who told me I don't eat enough protein and I need more calories. Okay. The problem is that she also wanted me to add more whole grains. Fine. Uh not fine. Talk about cramping and side pains...I'm taking that a little slower. I had to take an extra walk break during my race pace segment due to a side pain (nice that it didn't affect my pace :)). Next Sunday includes 10km at race pace...hopefully, no side pain!
I am now in the sharpening and tapering phase of my kick-ass program...hope the stars align and it leads to a kick-ass race in four weeks :)